When we’re having a really bad patch, as I currently am, it’s easy to concentrate on the negatives so I thought I’d do a post on a few of the things which make my life easier, help me through the days and which I love, as a reminder that I still have much to be thankful for.
- My laptop and the internet. We in developed countries take these things for granted but there are still millions of people in the world who don’t have access to the world wide web or a home computer. I would be totally lost without mine, as not only do I use it to connect with other people and to shop for just about everything, including my weekly groceries, I also use it for my photography.
- Speaking of which, my photography keeps me sane, gives me purpose, and is a great distractor. There are days when it really is a mental health lifesaver.
- My little car. Living in a rural area with no public transport my car is my lifeline. It’s a Toyota Yaris Hybrid Bi-tone, with tinted rear windows, black alloys and red & black interior. It’s gorgeous, and on top of being easy to drive as it’s automatic I’m also doing my little bit to help the environment.
- My mobility scooter. Although I pay someone to walk my dog 5 mornings a week, I can’t afford afternoons and weekends, so I take him out on my mobility scooter. I can go miles on it, which is great exercise for Bertie, and as an added bonus we meet all sorts of people on our travels who we stop and chat to which helps with isolation. My scooter was bought 3rd hand from a local dealer and can cope with the rugged terrain and lack of pavements we have here in the countryside, as well as looking quite cool as the design is based on a Harley Davidson tryke!
- The telly. It’s easy to take TVs for granted but I swear I’d totally lose my shit without mine. It passes the time, is a great distractor and keeps me company – I often have the picture on but the sound down, just so I feel less alone.
- My electric heat pad. Miles better than using a hot water bottle, which is either boiling or freezing, this heat pad gets toasty warm when you lean on it but not too hot that I’m concerned if I fall asleep! I use it for back and period pain, as well as placing it on my pillow to lie my head on during a migraine – it really does help.
- My red pepper sauce. 90% of recipes for non-meat eaters contain sodding tinned tomatoes and I’d be even more limited in what to cook than I already am without my red pepper sauce as a substitute. I batch cook then freeze in individual jars.
- My steam cleaner. I recently bought a steam mop, which converts to a hand held cleaner and I love it. It cleans all my laminate and wooden floors like a breeze and I can also steam clean my leather couch, the dog’s bed, my wooden stairs, my mattress and all manner of other things without any chemicals whatsoever. You bung some tap water in, wait for 30 seconds, then off you go. I so wish I’d bought one sooner!
- The last couple of years, my declining hormones have made my skin stupendously dry and no amount of moisturizer was helping. My bestie suggested face oil but I was sceptical, thinking it would make my skin greasy and spotty, however I was desperate so decided to try some Argan Oil and it’s made the world of difference. It doesn’t spread well, so I dot it over my face before bed and rub in as best I can then use my regular night cream over the top. My skin no longer feels tight and uncomfortable and it’s not greasy in any way – a big thumb’s up.
- While we’re on the subject of the menopause, it can make your vagina ridiculously itchy so if you find yourself in this uncomfortable position you need some Vagisil cream. It’s absolutely brilliant, even if it does burn a little bit when you first put it on!
- Since I was tiny I have been prone to cold sores and have been known to have 11 separate blisters on my lips during bad attacks (!), until I came across Liquorice Lip Balm. It contains an active liquorice extract which has been proven to be effective against the HSV-1 herpes virus and I have only had 2 cold sores in the decade I’ve been using it. I simply smear it on before I go to sleep and can’t believe how well it works.
- Sweets. Yes, I know, they contain sugar and sugar is the devil. Just like fat was the devil 25 years ago, and wheat was the devil 10 years ago. To those people who tell me to stop eating sugar I say this…………fuck off you kill joys. There is nothing more comforting than a brew, your favourite TV show and a huge bag of Haribo gummy bears/Starburst/Wine Gums/insert your goodies of choice here. I am no more ill than my non-sugar-eating chronically sick friends but happier and more content 😀
Of course, it goes without saying that my favourite things in the whole world are my friends, my dog and my parents on a good day, but as you can’t buy them at Tesco they’re excluded from my list 😉